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Welcome to the Feng Shui For Real Life Ezine, a monthly e-magazine with tips, success stories, and clutter-clearing advice to help you make simple Feng Shui changes to attract wealth, harmony, love, and much more.

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Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – Balance the Yin and Yang of Summer
It's summertime, and to paraphrase the old song, the living is not always easy when it gets hot and sticky. In Feng Shui, the high temperatures and bright sunshine of summer are associated with hot, yang energy. On the positive side, this makes us want to socialize (margaritas on the patio) and adds passion to our lives (summer romance). But too much Fire can have the opposite effect, making us feel tired, listless, and just plain burned out (perhaps that explains the "beach book" phenomena).

To balance this strong, yang energy, focus your Feng Shui rearrangements for summer on cooling down your home and office by adding the counterbalancing yin, or quieter, energy. For example, one simple way to add yin to your home is by switching to
a lighter weight, lighter color comforter or blanket on your bed. In your office, turn off the overhead lights and let the natural daylight light your workplace instead of the hard Metal Element energy generated by fluorescent lights.

Here are some more of my favorite summer tips for balancing the yin and yang energies of summer:
• If your home décor colors are hot, like reds, purples, and oranges, balance them with lighter accents of ice blue or pale green for throw pillows or tablecloths and napkins for a calming and cooling effect.
• The harsh, corkscrew energy of a ceiling fan located directly over your bed can cause pain or illness. To balance this effect, hang a crystal from the pull chain to lessen the cutting force.
• Even if you prefer using a microwave or barbeque grill in hot weather, use your stove occasionally because an unused stove implies untapped resources or ignored opportunities.
• Your deck or porch is considered part of your home in Feng Shui, so choose high-quality outdoor furniture and keep it clean and in good condition throughout the summer.
• Before you leave your office for summer vacation, give your desk drawer a vacation from clutter by tossing non-usable items, including all those dried-up pens, pencils with worn down erasers, and bent paper clips.
• When you go on vacation your empty house becomes passive, yin energy that can draw negative energies, like burglars. To balance this, set timers to turn on several lights and even a radio set to a talk station to create active, yang energy in the house.

Want more summer tips? There's a day-by-day calendar of 366 Feng Shui tips in my book, the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office: Secrets for Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love. Click here to order your copy.

Clutter Clinic -- Organize Your Garage
It's easy for your garage to become the black hole of your home, the place where you put things and then never see them again. Most of my clients want me to ignore their cluttered garage when I do their home consultations, but like it or not, an attached garage does occupy a bagua area in your home, typically either the Helpful People or Harmony, and we certainly can't ignore the effect of clutter on these vital areas. I like this step-by-step plan from to clear the clutter and organize your garage. says the process takes a full week, but I bet if you use a Feng Shui focus you can do it in fewer days.

Day 1 - Purge. Set up areas for hazardous waste, garbage, recycling, donate, sell, and keep. Then, begin pulling things out of your garage and sorting them. Categories for "keepers" include holiday decorations, gardening supplies, tools, paint and home repair, car care, memorabilia, sports and seasonal gear. Get rid of everything else.

Day 2 - Clean and Inspect. Today is the day for a clean sweep. Inspect the garage for signs of rodents, pests, and water damage, then treat as needed. Then, vacuum or sweep -- the Feng Shui recommendation is to aim out the door rather than into the garage. Scrub the floor with powdered detergent and a stiff brush. While your floors dry, move your stuff from oddly shaped containers or falling-apart boxes into sturdy plastic bins. Don't mix contents, and use color-coded labels to identify the contents.

Day 3 - Make a Storage Plan. Draw a floor plan and mark where each category of stuff will go.

Day 4 - Get Everything Off the Floor. Storing stuff on the floor of the garage invites mildew and water damage, and makes it easier to let things get messy again. Consider adding tall shelving units and a ceiling-mounted platform so you make the most of vertical storage space, and add shelves so you don't let a wall go to waste. Store the least frequently used stuff in the highest spots.

Day 5 - Finish the Job. Check Earth 911 to find a place that will take any hazardous waste and recyclables. Make a run to a local charity shop or shelter with your donation items.

Day 6 - Create a Beautiful Entrance to Your House. Place a mat near the door to the house to catch dirt before people step foot in your house. The Feng Shui recommendation is to use the same mat as at your front door and garage door to provide continuity. Add a boot tray or shelving for shoes, and a few hooks or a standing closet for coats. The Feng Shui recommendation is to hang art or decoration near the door to welcome you home.

Day 7 - Keep Up the Good Work. Stop thinking of your garage as a dumping ground for things you don't know what to do with, and start thinking of it as the useful, accessible storage area it is - and a part of the bagua of your home.

Success Story – Alice and Jim's Poison Arrows
Alice and Jim were living in a house that was in need of updating. Jim had inherited it from his grandparents, but the couple had made only a few changes in the 9 years they had lived there. When their last child had left for college, they decided it was time for a serious Feng Shui makeover that included renovating and redecorating. One issue I found was their family room, which was lined with shelves hung near the ceiling on three walls. Not only had they accumulated a lot of unnecessary "stuff" on the shelves, but the shelves were so high up and hard to clean that they were coated with dust and cobwebs. Plus, the heaviness of the shelving weighed down on the room, and also the sharp edges pointed at the couple wherever they sat, making it an uncomfortable room. These edges are called "poison arrows" in Feng Shui, and they represent harsh energy pointed at you like an arrow aimed at a target. No wonder they couldn't relax in the room.

Here is what Alice wrote:

I am happy to report that we finally took down all the built-in shelves in the family room. It was a lot of work and took a lot of repairing, but the room immediately looked bigger, better, and cleaner. We gave the whole room a coat of paint in the warm color you recommended. As you pointed out, the room is in our Future area, and as you know, Jim had been having trouble with his supervisor. The very next day after we finished repainting, an announcement came out that Jim's boss was transferring to another division and Jim was being named Director. Was it cause and effect? I don't know, but we certainly lightened the heavy load in our Future and an unexpected promotion came our way. I'm thinking it had more to do with Feng Shui than with luck. More of your Feng Shui changes are planned and who knows what else will manifest in our lives.

I would love to share YOUR success story. Email Carol Olmstead or call 1.800.652.9038 to schedule your home or office consultation.

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: I am an avid reader of your ezine and blog and have a question for you. I'm buying a second home and the front door opens directly to the staircase, and directly at the top of the stairs is the powder room, then you need to turn right to get to the living area. I know that a bathroom at the top of the stairs isn't good, and that putting a lush plant at the landing would help, but since it is a second home and I won't be there to care for the plant, that's not an option. What other choices do I have?
A: Sounds like you have a bunch of issues going on with the home, including how to pull the chi upstairs while still keeping it circulating to the rooms on the entry level, plus dealing with the bathroom at the top of the stairs - and all of this in a home that's not occupied full time. In a situation like this where you can't grow a natural plant, a silk plant is certainly acceptable since it's made from a fabric. Of course you would want to avoid using dried flowers or plant materials, and make sure your silk plant is dust-free. Keep the bathroom door closed so the chi coming upstairs doesn't symbolically get flushed down the toilet.

Q: We have a beach house, and this summer when we opened it up for the season it just felt, well, I don't know how else to describe it, but the house just feels sad. Is there anything I should do?
A: Sometimes the energy in a home you only use occasionally becomes stagnant because there is no life chi flowing through it. Start with a thorough clearing and airing out your house. Then, check outside to see if any vines or weeds are covering the house and symbolically "strangling" it. Vacation homes sometimes have second-hand or second-best furniture that can carry negative chi, or overly yin energy that pulls down the chi, so make sure all of your furnishings are clean, fresh, and remove anything that isn't still appealing to you. Repaint the walls in a bright color if they feel faded, and make sure the artwork shows happy, upbeat images. You can also play music and/or add a fountain so there is movement in the house. Finally, make sure you have lamps on timers in the house so there is always a light on during the times when you don't occupy the house.

Do you have Feng Shui questions?
Email them to Carol Olmstead, then watch this ezine for the answers.

Feng Shui For Real Life Bookstore
Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office --
Secrets For Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love
"Move your stuff, change your life." The Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office includes Feng Shui basics, a monthly guide to clutter clearing, hundreds of Feng Shui tips, and success stories. This is the book that will help you learn how to attract wealth, achieve harmony, improve relationships, advance your career, and clear clutter. Highlights include a month-by-month guide to clearing your clutter and a day-by-day calendar of fast fix Feng Shui tips, and links to download free bonus articles. The perfect gift for everyone on your list - clients, colleagues, family, friends - and a great way for real estate agents to say "thank you" and welcome home buyers to their new home.
Voted "Best How-To Book 2010"

Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office
254 pages
Retail Price: $15.95
Special web price: $12.95
Click here to purchase your signed paperback copy.
Also available at Kindle and iTunes.

Custom Feng Shui Workshops
Bring one of my workshops to your city. I will create a custom presentation for your business or group to help you make simple changes to attract wealth, harmony, and love. From keynote speeches, to "munch and learn" workshops, to half-day or full-day seminars, my interactive sessions are full of practical advice, tips, and fun. Feng Shui workshops make great fundraisers because they always sell out.

Here's what people are saying about Carol's workshops --
Carol rocked it with her powerful workshop, and how great to have the entire day to soak it as she covered so much. Everyone really LOVED it! Carol's fresh take on Feng Shui is invigorating yet light enough to actually make changes and see immediate results in a space. Her book is additional reinforcement to her live trainings. Carol makes the process fun and yes, anyone can do this! -- Jennifer Ashton, Jennifer Ashton Interiors

I have enjoyed Carol's lively and informative Feng Shui presentations, and I always leave with new insights and tips that I can immediately put to good use in both my home and office. I’m excited to have Carol create a custom workshop for my group.
-- Lainie Grimmer, CPCC, ACC, Creating Clarity Coaching

Thank you for a great presentation! Really great stuff.... you are a whiz. -- Val Romero, Founder, Women Make a Difference

I welcome your referrals. If you know of a group or organization that would be interested in scheduling me as a speaker, email Carol Olmstead or call 1.800.652.9038.

Feng Shui Consulting Services
I work with clients nationwide, either on-site in person, or remote by phone, email, and Skype.

On-Site Consulting
I will visit your home, office, or business and help you rearrange your space, shift energy, and transform your life. On a regular basis, I work with clients in the Northeast (DC Metro Area and Maryland Suburbs, Baltimore, Annapolis, Northern Virginia, New York City, and New Jersey) and the Southwest (Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Denver). Nationwide, I consult on request throughout the US.

During the consultation I will teach you Feng Shui basics, then we'll go through your space and I'll make suggestions for changing the placement of furniture and objects and dealing with color. We will move what we can at that time and I will leave behind a written step-by-step Feng Shui Makeover Plan of recommendations for you to follow, a ToolKit of information to help you make the remaining changes, and a copy of my award-winning book, the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office: Secrets For Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love. All sessions include 30 days of free Feng Shui coaching to help you continue to make changes and move forward.

Here's what clients are saying about Carol's On-Site Feng Shui Consulting:
You stood here in my family room and said, "Now that the renovations are done and no more fixes are needed, there are no more excuses, it's time to write." And that's what I'm doing. Your consultation was a big factor behind this exciting time for me, and you can tell everyone that I said so.

I am love, love, loving my Feng Shui'd home. I have added red to many of the rooms, like you talked about, and what a difference. Thank you again for coming and doing your magic.
J.P., Executive Coach

Appointments fill up fast, especially on weekends Click here for details and to schedule.

Remote Consulting by Phone and Skype
When an on-site consultation isn't possible, I offer Off-Site and Remote Feng Shui Consulting in the US and internationally for homes, offices, and businesses. There are two options, either Whole House Consultation or the new Room Rescue Package for one room in your home. You will receive advice for re-arranging furniture and accessories, selecting and hanging artwork, choosing the right colors, clutter clearing, re-purposing what you already have.

Here's what clients are saying about Carol's off-site Feng Shui consultations:
Thank you for the advice you provided during our Room Rescue consultation. You are the instrument to help me achieve tranquility and peace of mind.

The floor plan analysis told me everything I need to know. I especially appreciate the Hotline Coaching Package so I can continue to check in with you and ask questions as I move things around and before I make purchases. Loved your suggestion for art in my bedroom.

To schedule your on-site or remote Feng Shui consultation, email Carol Olmstead or call 1.800.652.9038. I welcome your referrals.

Beyond Feng Shui – Unusual Places to Donate Things
My clients sometimes want to give away "special" things and they ask me for places to donate in their community where the items be appreciated by someone who couldn't otherwise afford to buy them. Here are some regional suggestions:

Musical instruments: The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation in California accepts donations of gently used band and orchestral instruments in playable and good cosmetic condition. The instruments get refurbished, and sent to programs throughout the U.S. The LINKS program - Lonely Instruments for Needy Kids - does something similar specifically for those in the greater Cincinnati area. The Carroll County Arts Council in Maryland has a Musical Instrument Bank.

Art and Crafts Supplies: There are lots of options in California, including SCRAP in San Francisco, which collects donations of quality, clean, reusable materials such as fabric, paper, arts and crafts supplies, wood, beads, buttons, and more and makes these materials available as supplies for teachers, non-profits, parents, artists, and students; RAFT, in San Jose, which collects the same thing with an emphasis on serving teachers. In Portland, Oregon, there's another SCRAP program, In New York contact Materials for the Arts, in Chicago try Creative Pitch, and in Pennsylvania try the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.

Binoculars, Field Guides, Digital Cameras: Birders' Exchange collects these supplies and sends them to "researchers, educators, and conservationists in Latin America and the Caribbean working to protect birds and their habitats" and who lack these basic supplies.

Furniture: The Furniture Bank Association of North America has a list of furniture banks that accept donations to provide free furniture to families struggling with poverty and other severe life challenges. In Maryland, Transformations of Montgomery County works with low-income families to create a residential setting that promotes healthy, positive growth, as well as improved physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. For each project the organization posts a design plan and wish list of needed furniture.

Fur Coats: The Humane Society of the United States suggests contacting wildlife rehabilitators in your area to see if they can use the coats.

Gloves (UK): For my UK readers, Glove Love says they match single gloves who have become separated from their partners. Each donated glove is "lovingly hand-stitched to create a new pair for a new loving owner." What's not to love about that?

Read the complete list on

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Need a Space Clearing or House Blessing?
Carol Olmstead is an Ordained Minister specializing in Feng Shui house blessing ceremonies and space clearing. Call 1.800.652.9038 or email Carol for details.

Schedule a Consultation or Workshop. If you would like to set up a home, office, or business consultation, or schedule a customized workshop, contact:
Carol M. Olmstead, FSII Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Email Carol Olmstead

Carol M. Olmstead, FSIA, was certified by the Feng Shui Institute of America, and awarded Red Ribbon Professional Status from the International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) and was elected to the IFSG Governing Board.

Feng Shui For Real Life, LLC, and the Feng Shui For Real Life Ezine serve as a reference and guide for the principles of Feng Shui and as such bear no responsibility for results a client or reader experiences. Individual results may vary based on the client's participation and intent.

©2014, Carol M. Olmstead

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© Copyright 2018, Carol Olmstead